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MLS Monday: Everything you need to know about Matchweek 33

Upsetpalooza! Philadelphia humiliated by Charlotte, Red Bulls stumble in Columbis, Cincinnati lose their cool in Chicago, Seattle miss the postseason for the first time ever

MLS: Chicago Fire at FC Cincinnati
Men are so emotional.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

What is it about the international break that makes otherwise composed players lose their collective mind after returning to the field? A playoff picture that could be pretty much settled by instead is still a question mark as mid-table teams form a scrum around the final playoff spots. Makes you appreciate NYCFC’s composed 2-1 win over Orlando City to move into third place in the Eastern Conference.

Top Games

Charlotte FC 4 - 0 Philadelphia Union
The Union’s season has been characterized by cool-headed professionalism and a collective team ethos: All of that went out the window in Saturday’s dumpster fire of a loss to Charlotte FC. Not only was the 4-0 shutout the biggest Union loss this season, the result all but delivered the Supporters’ Shield to LAFC — and could let Montréal climb into first place in the Eastern Conference this coming weekend. Superstar defender Kai Wagner earned a red card, and will miss the Decision Day matchup against Toronto. Almost forgot: Charlotte won, and still have a slim chance of making the playoffs if they beat Columbus at home on Wednesday.

Columbus Crew 2 - 1 New Jersey Red Bulls
Speaking of which, Columbus staged a magnificent comeback win over New Jersey, scoring in the 89th and 93rd minute to steal a victory — and completely deflate the fragile egos over in Red Bull country. It’s crystal clear that New Jersey have lost the plot, and could lose home-field advantage if Orlando or Miami win both of their last games.

Sporting Kansas City 1 - 0 Seattle Sounders
Seattle bet the farm on winning the CONCACAF Champions League, which they did in style. But that was back in May, and the Sounders have suffered in MLS league play since then. With this loss they will miss the playoffs for the first time in club history, breaking a 13-year streak — it’s a spectacular drop for a team that had never finished lower than fourth place. Sounders fans will tell you it’s worth it to play Madrid in the FIFA Club World Cup next year. Wonder how that’s going to go for a team that can’t find a way to score against Kansas City.

FC Cincinnati 2 - 3 Chicago Fire
Out in Chicago, Cincinnati were humbled by a couple of teenagers: The 19-year-old striker John Duran scored twice, while 18-year-old forward Brian Gutierrez Portland scored once and provided two assists. Cincinnati still sits in with place with 46 points but could miss the playoffs if they fail to get a result at DC United this coming weekend — which they’ll have to do without forward Sergio Santos, who earned a red card.

Toronto FC 0 - 1 Inter Miami
The Boys in Pink keep their playoff hopes alive behind more late-game heroics from Gonzalo Híguain. The Most Interesting Benchwarmer in the World is developing into a fine starter, and finally delivering on the promise of signing the baby brother of Columbus legend Federico Higuaín. If Miami win either of their remains games they will make the postseason for the first time in club history.

New England Revolution 2 - 1 Atlanta United
A dysfunctional Atlanta is out of the playoffs with this loss. To be honest, it was a surprise that they were still in the running this late in the season. When they play NYCFC next week it will be just for pride, and the opportunity to mess with the reigning MLS Cup Champions.

Goal of the Week

Josef Martinez might be toxic in the locker room but he’s still magisterial on the field plastic turf. His overhead scissor kick wasn’t enough to save Atlanta’s season, but it deserves to be named our Goal of the Week.


Friday, September 30

Toronto FC 0 - 1 Inter Miami

Saturday, October 1

New England Revolution 2 - 1 Atlanta United

Colorado Rapids 1 - 0 FC Dallas

Charlotte FC 4 - 0 Philadelphia Union

CF Montréal 1 - 0 DC United

Columbus Crew 2 - 1 New Jersey Red Bulls

FC Cincinnati 2 - 3 Chicago Fire

San Jose Earthquakes 2 - 0 Minnesota United

Vancouver Whitecaps 2 - 0 Austin FC

LA Galaxy 1 - 1 Real Salt Lake

Sunday, October 2

NYCFC 2 - 1 Orlando City

Portland Timbers 1 - 2 LAFC

Sporting Kansas City 1 - 0 Seattle Sounders

Nashville 1 - 2 Houston Dynamo